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Hip Hop is still for the children

As a hip hop fanatic, it’s not uncommon to hear rappers brag about the money, cars, and clothes they own. The radio has done the genre a disservice by constantly playing these fun songs on repeat as if rap music has no substance. There are plenty of artists who sing and rap about current political issues and hardships they face within the communities that they were raised in. Ultimately, Hip Hop is still very much the music of the streets. Despite this, many critics have accused rappers of being detrimental to both the youth and the black community as a whole. In response to that, I have created a short list of rappers who have been proactive in their community and/or took strides to uplift the black community outside of the uplifting songs and anthems that are too easily dismissed as it poorly resonates with older generations or (in some cases) social groups outside of their own. 

5. Wale: Wale has been consistently involved with education throughout his career. Whether it’s his donations to students ,  teaming up with the first lady to raise awareness about college options, or marching with and talking to high school students in Baltimore after the police killing of Freddie Gray, Wale has definitely made it clear that education is important.

4. Joey Bada$$: Joey Bada$$ wasted no time getting involved within his community after his success. The 20yo rapper has already donated $10,000 to his old high school, marched in protest of police brutality in NY, and continues to do music festivals for the late Jamal Dewar’s (Capital Steez) family. The independent Brooklyn native has stayed true to his lyrics and crew name: Pro(gressive) Era

3. Kendrick Lamar: Kendrick Lamar has been accused by conservative ‘news’ reporters to have been detrimental to the black community. Kendrick’s actions have proved these accusations are irresponsibly inaccurate. The TDE crew member has donated tens of thousands of dollars to his old high school in Compton,  visited high schools that delved into the complex lyrics of his albums and gained the attention of state senators as they honored him the  35th Senate District’s Generational Icon 

2. Chance the Rapper: There is no secret that Chance loves giving back to the youth in Chicago. He’s so involved that there are probably several things I will have left out from my list of examples. From going on field trips with students to organizing free music festivals for teens to helping raise over $100,000 for public schools, it is undeniable that Chance is indeed for the children. In addition to this, Chance has spoke out against racism and issues with the VMAs as well as showed support for Laquan McDonald protesters in Chicago while his Save Money brother Vic Mensa joined them in the streets.

1. J Cole: There’s no way I could make a list of young artists who uplift the community without including the Dreamville founder. Cole has shown his dedication to activism in the form of protests (on several occasions), donated to schools and children from his hometown, and even went as far as buying the house he used to live in to give low income families a place to live in rent-free for 2 years at a time. Most of these examples were never even promoted by Cole himself, but documented by others or the people he visited in ‘secret’. Along with other artists on the list, there are several other humanitarian acts left from the list that you could find online. Cole is a great example of how actions speak louder than words, and is a great role model for both the youth and his fellow rappers. 

middle finger // wale

Cuz I don’t think yall give my nigga the credit he deserves. My man Wale just opened for the State of the Union address yesterday. This is the second time in a year he’s been invited to perform at the White House. EBM in the sky tonight. Shine your light